Saturday, August 20, 2016

Jeez it's been ages!

Summer is officially over this weekend. Emma started her sophomore year of high school last Weds, and Rob and I start teaching this Monday. I'm always ready for the routine to begin, just as I was ready for the routine to end in the spring.

Emma has her learner's permit, and is getting pretty confident driving us around to run errands. Her first few days of school went well, and while she and her best friend are not in the same school districts, they are taking many of the same subjects, and are already planning how to work together on homework. It's nice to have the transition of freshman year over with, and have Emma enter this school year with more confidence.

I found these photos on my phone. Emma has been trying to teach Rob how to take selfies, but I think we have a way to go.

Rob and I have continued our dive into meditation and minimalism, and we're enjoying our practice. Our time to actually read and discuss will now be drastically curtailed though, as we start teaching again. We've been reading Dan Harris's 10% Happier, and it's been interesting to see how his journey to Buddhism unfolded. (The 10% Happier app is the one we started mediating with, which is what made us interested in his book. That makes it sound like we are somehow meditating together, but no, and that would be weird.)

I'm also reading a book my dad recommended and is also currently reading. My dad's field is philosophy, so many of the books he reads are unintelligible to me. However, this one, called The Big Picture, by Sean Carroll, is a mixture of language philosophy, quantum mechanics, general relativity, etc. So it's somewhere between my science background and his philosophy background. We're both struggling, but with different aspects, I think. There was one chapter on entropy that I found so fascinating AND dumbfounding that I decided to read it a second time through, but this time out loud, to Rob. It made more sense for me the second time around, and I was able to share just how mind-boggling it was with Rob. Win-win. I learned a lot more about entropy in that chapter than I ever did back in the physical chemistry class I took in grad school!

If you all remember, I am participating in an Art Charm Exchange and Auction to raise money for Beads of Courage. The auction and blog-reveal, which were originally scheduled for mid-August, have been rescheduled to mid-September as of now, because our host, Jen of Glass Addictions has had such a crazy busy summer.

Also, waaaayyy back in spring, I transplanted a clematis that had basically never really bloomed for me. I'm so excited to see it start blooming now! I don't know if this is its regular time, or if the transplant shifted it a bit, but it's obviously much happier in it's new spot. So I sent Rob out to take some photos, since he's much better at it than I am. This is a fairly small-flowered clematis, so I was excited to see more buds coming on.

The flowers are a bit larger than a quarter, so quite small. But lots of lovely detail and color. I'm so happy to see it doing well.

I hope everyone else is having a nice late-August!


  1. Such a pretty clematis! I'm glad it survived the transplant--it must be happier in its new home. My summer reading has not been as ambitious as yours, although I did finally finish reading Chernow's "Hamilton." I enjoyed it, but sheesh, it took me forever to read! It does show that the current political fighting and name-calling is nothing new to our country. Hope you have a great school year!

  2. Nice Clematis! That books sounds like it is way over my head, though. For some time most of the books I read (not all) are either fiction or about gardening.

  3. I love the clematis! I've planted two separate clematis plants, and both have failed to thrive. The plants come back, but they have very few blooms. I think your foray into minimalism is so interesting, and I've loved hearing your thoughts on it. Your comment on how you and Rob and meditating together made me laugh. I've begun to think that I enter a meditative state while push-mowing, and that might be one of the reasons I enjoy it so much.

  4. How did I miss this post? That book sounds interesting, if difficult. And the flower is beautiful!

  5. That Clematis is lovely! What an interesting time for Clematis blooms. Sounds like you have a busy school year ahead!